Texas Governor Rick Perry was born James Richard Perry on the 4th of March in Paint Creek, Texas just a bit north of Abilene, Texas. His parents were Joseph Ray Perry and Amelia June Holt Perry. He was a Boy Scout and attained the rank of Eagle Scout. He has written a book on scouting called "On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting for." The Boy Scouts of America have given him the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.
He graduated in 1968 from Paint Creek High School. He then went to Texas A & M and got a degree in animal science.
In 1972 he joined the Air Force after he got out of college and became a pilot and attained the rank of Captain.
In 1978 he Was elected to the Texas State Board of Education as a Democrat. He married Anita Thigpen in 1982. They had known each other since childhood. They have two children, a boy, Griffin and a girl, Sydney. Anita Perry went to West Texas State University and earned a degree in nursing.
From 1985 until 1991 he was a member of the Texas House of Representatives. He started out as a Democrat but in 1989 he switched to the Republican Party.
From 1991 until 1999 he was the Texas Agriculture Commissioner. He was elected as lieutenant governor with George W Bush as Governor in 1998. When then Governor Bush resigned to become President in 2000 Rick Perry became the 47th Governor of the State of Texas. He was then elected as Governor in 2002 and reelected in 2006 and again in 2010. In 2001 Governor Perry set a veto record, he vetoed legislation a total of 82 times. This was more than any previous governor had done since the reconstruction. Some controversial positions the Governor Perry holds are defining marriage as only between a man and a woman; he is openly opposed to gay marriage. He also signed a bill limiting late term abortions that requires girls under 18 to get parental consent to get an abortion. In 2007 he issued an executive order requiring that all girls in Texas get an expensive Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine before they could enter the sixth grade. When Governor Perry issued this order Gardasil by the drug company Merck was the only such vaccine that had been approved by the Federal Drug Administration and it usually ran over $350.00 per vaccine. This action drew national press pointing out a $6000.00 contribution by the drug company to Perry's campaign fund. Within a few weeks concerned families sued to block the order. The Executive order was undone a few months later. Governor Perry also supports the subjects of creationism and intelligent design being taught in Texas Schools despite it being rejected by a federal judge. He also rejects the idea of global warming. He also has drawn fire for his invitation of his friend Ted Nugent to perform at his inauguration party in 2007. Nugent appeared in a cut off t shirt with a Confederate flag on it. Nugent was also reported to have made disparaging comments about people who do not speak English. Perry is a strong supporter of states' rights, saying "I believe that our federal government has become oppressive in its size, its intrusion into the lives of our citizens, and its interference with the affairs of our State."
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